Melbourne Storm v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Saturday 10 May, 7:30pm
NRL: 7:30pm; NYC: 5:15pm; Gates open: 5pm
TV: Fox Sports 1, LIVE from 7:30pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Melbourne Storm take on an in-form Manly Sea Eagles outfit on Saturday night at AAMI Park, in what will be a hotly contested match.
A competitive rivalry between Storm and the Sea Eagles has lead to some tough and close encounters over the past few seasons, none closer than the Round 1 meeting between the two sides, where Storm snatched a 23-22 point win at Brookvale Oval.
Storm, currently sit in 10th position on the ladder entering Round 9 with a 4-4 record and will be looking to bounce back and put on a solid display in front of the home fans at AAMI Park. Defence has been an issue for Melbourne during the opening stages of the season and coach Craig Bellamy has been working hard with his team to rectify this area of their game. With much of squad taking part in the representative weekend, playing some impressive football, Bellamy will be hoping to carry the momentum through to the match with Manly.
The Sea Eagles are sitting second on the ladder and in a very comfortable position following the opening eight matches. Geoff Toovey’s men have been in stellar form and will want to keep hot on the tails of the ladder leading Bulldogs. Unfortunately with injury concerns hanging over many of the squad's big names, Manly's depth will be tested more than ever.
With Storm suffering back-to-back defeats to the Raiders and Warriors, Manly will provide a tough test for Melbourne who will be desperate to stay on track with a victory in Round 9.
In a busy week for the club in regards to player retention, Storm has re-signed New Zealand International Tohu Harris while 229 game forward Ryan Hoffman announced he would depart the club at season's end to join the New Zealand Warriors on a three-year deal.
Manly convert George Rose will line up against his former team at AAMI Park on Saturday, ironically for the third time this season. Rose understands how much this game means to his former teammates but will be hoping he can make an impact providing plenty of power to Storm's forward pack.
Craig Bellamy has faced a number of injury concerns to his team in recent weeks but has made only slight changes to his squad. Centre Justin O’Neill will miss 10-12 weeks with an ankle injury, however Storm regain Will Chambers who returns after serving his two-week suspension.
Geoff Toovey has made multiple changes to his team for Round 9 with injuries to a number of key personnel forcing his hand. Star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans has been named however he is under a fitness cloud after returning from international duty with a slight calf strain. David Williams returns to the wing, Jamie Buhrer slots in to lock and James Hasson makes his way to the interchange bench. Brett Stewart has been named captain for only the second time in his career in the absence of Lyon.
Referees – Shayne Hayne and Adam Gee
Sideline Officials – Adam Reid and Michael Wise
Video Referees – Ashley Klein and Ben Galea
HEAD TO HEAD:
Jesse Browmich v Brenton Lawrence
Both Jesse Bromwich and Brenton Lawrence have enjoyed strong starts to the 2014 season.
Bromwich has been instrumental for Storm and has earned himself a New Zealand call-up as well as an extended contract in Melbourne. Not only is he rock solid in defence, he often finds himself in try scoring positions for club and country. In last round's loss to the Raiders, the prop managed to gain 154 meters and 27 tackles.
Lawrence has been a revelation for Manly. The 29-year old has provided plenty of grit in defence for Manly in a Sea Eagles side known for their attacking prowess. Like Browmich, Lawrence loves to get forward and has already recorded two tries this season. In his last match against the Cowboys he recorded 41 tackles.
LAST TIME THEY MET:
Round 1, 2014 - Melbourne Storm 23 (Sisa Waqa 2, Ben Hampton, Kenny Bromwich; Goals: Cameron Smith 4) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 (Steve Matai 2, Cheyse Blair, Justin Horo; Goals: Jamie Lyon 3)
LAST 5 MATCHES:
Round 1, 2014 - Melbourne Storm 23 (Sisa Waqa 2, Ben Hampton, Kenny Bromwich; Goals: Cameron Smith 4) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 (Steve Matai 2, Cheyse Blair, Justin Horo: Goals: Jamie Lyon 3)
Round 25, 2013 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 (David Williams 3, Brett Stewart 2, Daly Cherry-Evans; Goals: Jamie Lyon 2) defeated Melbourne Storm 8 (Justin O’Neill, Sisa Waqa)
Round 10, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 10 (Maurice Blair; Goals: Cameron Smith 3) drew with Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10 (Jamie Lyon; Goals: Jamie Lyon 3)
Prelim Final, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 40 (Cooper Cronk 2, Billy Slater 2, Jesse Bromwich, Will Chambers, Kevin Proctor; Goals: Cameron Smith 5, Gareth Widdop 1) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12 (Jamie Lyon 2; Goals: Jamie Lyon 2)
Round 15, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 26 (Matt Duffie, Todd Lowrie, Bryan Norrie, Cameron Smith; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 (Daly Cherry-Evans, Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Dean Whare; Goals: Jamie Lyon 3)